I find humanity a lovely, fascinating, complicated and sometimes frustrating thing.
I know you feel the same. I hear it in our laughter together over ridiculous viral videos, our confusion over a global crisis, and the love and loyalty we carry deep inside.
I hear it in words of loss, pain, and mourning; squeals of happiness or the silent smiles of deep joy. We all share this collective joy and pain of living. We all know what it’s like to be loved, and we know what it’s like to be lonely.
All my life I’ve felt what you might call the tug of the artist–the desire to be creating, inspiring, and making beauty. Only recently did it burst into my mind with sudden clarity–how every relationship is, in essence, an act of creativity. Taking two people who are completely unique and forming a relationship that has never existed exactly like this before.
This explains why forming a new relationship always feels like a step off into the unknown, much like the feeling of beginning a new piece of art. No matter how many successful relationships we’ve built, this one won’t play by exactly the same rules. This one will challenge and teach us in a new way. This one has the opportunity to be uniquely beautiful, playing off our strengths, weaknesses, passions, and predicaments in a way that no other relationship has before.
So don’t tell me you’re not an artist. Last night I sat in a warm room eating macaroons with forty other women, and we took risks and we told stories and we created something new. Whether candles or Chinese take-out sets the scene, each gathering of people is a sacred and beautiful space.
And like all art, it carries with it a sense of impact. We’ve all experienced the destructive power of relationships, as well as the healing. This is why we ask questions like “Why are people so difficult?” and “How could someone be so thoughtless/rude/cruel?” What was once supposed to perfect represent the creativity and relationship of a triune God to the world, has now been warped through sin. Yet the transparent beauty remains. And through the gospel, what was broken is redeemed and restored in ways we never could have imagined possible. Grace upon grace; the most beautiful of all relationships, that of man with God, restored through the Cross.
So don’t believe the lie that you’re not an artist. You bear the mark of the imago dei, and you represent Christ to the world by creating beautiful relationships. Relationships full of initiative instead of passivity. Relationships full of encouragement and hope, rather than bitterness or discouragement. Relationships of radical generosity instead of looking out for our own self.
Relationships that carry all the possibilities of humanity as a lovely, fascinating, complicated and sometimes frustrating thing–perfectly redeemed through Christ.